US Airways flight delayed over tuberculosis scare - KMSP-TV

US Airways flight delayed over tuberculosis scare

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(AP) -

About 70 passengers on a US Airways Express flight from Texas to Arizona were briefly kept on the plane after it landed, and some say they were told to get tuberculosis tests and vaccinations.

Responders on Saturday boarded the plane in Phoenix and removed a man who was asked to put on a medical mask.

US Airways spokesman Bill McGlahsen says the airline was notified after the plane departed Austin that the passenger's status had been changed to "no-fly" because of an unspecified medical condition.

Federal and Maricopa County health officials said there was no immediate confirmation that the passenger has an infectious disease.

Tuberculosis is a respiratory disease that can be fatal. The Centers for Disease Control says it is spread through the air.

DR. GEORGIOU'S TAKE

Fox 9 medical expert Dr. Archelle Georgiou offered her take on the risk of infection on the Buzz. Here's what she had to say:

Air travel during the holidays means that planes packed full of families with all their presents—and germs.  This past weekend, about 70 passengers aboard a US Airways were told to get tested for tuberculosis after a passenger was given a face mask and then escorted off of the plane in Phoenix. What's the risk of infection? 

In this particular situation, the passenger in question has not been confirmed to have an infectious disease, In addition, the duration of the flight was so short that there would likely be no risk of exposure to other passengers.  In fact, in studies looking at the risk of transmitting TB, the risk is greatest for people sitting two rows beside, in front of the individual who is infected, the risk is more likely when the flight is over 8 hours.  

The overall risk of a TB infection? About 1 in 1000. 

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